Larry Nassar's victims to receive 2018 Arthur Ashe Courage Award
ESPN announced that the sexual assault survivors who spoke out against their abuser, Larry Nassar, are set to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at this year's ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Awards show on Wednesday, July 18 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.
Nassar is the 54-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician who has been accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of people, many of whom female gymnasts, over the course of roughly two decades under the guise of medical treatment.
Those he sexually assaulted include some of the world's most high-profile gymnasts. Such gymnasts are Olympic gold medalists McKayla Maroney and Jordyn Wieber from the gold medal-winning 2012 United States Olympic women's gymnastics team, Simone Biles from the gold medal-winning 2016 United States Olympic women's gymnastics team, and Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman from both the 2012 and 2016 United States Olympic women's gymnastics teams.
This past December, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on three child pornography charges, a sentence that he is currently serving in the maximum-security United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona.
He was then sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in state prison on seven sexual assault charges in January after a seven-day sentencing hearing during which 169 people, including 156 of the people he sexually assaulted, delivered victim impact statements in front of him in a courtroom in Ingham County, Michigan.
In February, Nassar was sentenced to between an additional 40 and 125 years in state prison on three more sexual assault charges. Another lengthy sentencing hearing took place in an Eaton County, Michigan courtroom during which more than 60 people delivered victim impact statements in front of him.
Here is what Alison Overholt, the Vice President and Editor in Chief of ESPN The Magazine, espnW, and The ESPYS, had to say about the matter, according to Sports Illustrated.
“We are honored to recognize the courage of these women at The 2018 ESPYS, to acknowledge the power of their voices, and to shine a very well-deserved spotlight on what speaking up, fighting back, and demanding accountability can accomplish. They have shown us all what it truly means to speak truth to power, and through their bravery, they are making change for future generations. By honoring this group who spoke out, we aim to honor all of those who are survivors of abuse.”